“A good surgeon operates with his hand, not with his heart.”  Alexandre Dumas Père

Surgeons are professionals in the field of medicine who are certified and qualified to perform surgeries. They are involved in the diagnosis and repair of internal problems. Surgeons perform surgeries or operations to heal injuries, correct deformities and free their patients from suffering. Their work generally involves cutting into a patient’s body and performing corrective procedures on internal organs. They are involved in curing patients and often save lives by performing complex and intricate surgeries in emergency situations. Surgeons are also involved in performing preventive surgeries that focus on maintaining the health of the patient and preventing future medical complications. The human body is like a machine for Surgeons and they use their extensive knowledge to correct deformities by repairing defective parts and organs.

Surgeons are generally involved in providing long term relief to their patients through the use of their knowledge in the field of human anatomy. Surgeons can either be General Surgeons who usually perform less complicated surgeries on all parts of the body or they can be Specialized Surgeons, where they are equipped to perform even the most complex of surgeries on a particular body part such as the heart or the brain. Some examples of Specialized Surgeons are Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic Surgeons. Becoming a Surgeon is a good career choice as it is a well paying career that is respected all over the world. You can become successful in the career if you have the dedication and knowledge along with the ability to deal with the competition and stress. Surgeons mostly work in Hospitals, but some Surgeons also offer consultancy services in Private Clinics.

What do Surgeons do?

Surgeons are highly educated professionals who cure diseases, deformities and injuries by performing surgeries on the patient. They diagnose the illness or the source of the problem, conduct tests to determine whether the patient requires a surgery and perform required surgical procedures on the patients.

Communicating with patients is a very important part of a Surgeon’s job. It is vital to understand the problem the patient is suffering from, to analyze the symptoms and to identify the source of the problem. Surgeons, along with Physicians, analyze the problem the patient is suffering from to understand the possible treatments and to determine whether the patient needs the surgery or not.

Surgeons are often involved in conducting various tests to learn about the problem of the patient in greater detail. As Surgery is a complicated procedure, Surgeons use these tests to clearly understand the cause of discomfort and the status of the problem. These tests can be of various types, including x –rays, bone marrow tests etc.

After conducting tests and analyzing symptoms, Surgeons go through the patient’s past medical record and make decisions regarding whether the patient needs surgery or not. Surgeons determine the type of surgery that the patient would require, and also make sure that the patient is fit for surgery. It is their duty to use their medical knowledge to calculate the risks involved in the surgery and decide as to whether a surgery is the best possible option at that point of time for the patient or not.

Surgeons are also involved in prescribing pre – operative and post – operative medication. These medicines might include antibiotics, pain – killers, anesthesia, sedatives etc. More often than not, these medicines play a major role in preparing the patient for the surgery and aiding the recovery process.

The main job of a Surgeon is to perform surgeries on the patient’s body so as to relieve him/her of suffering. This usually involves cutting into a patient’s body and performing surgical procedures on the affected body part. These surgeries are performed in ‘operation theaters’ and involve a lot of concentration and hard work and are often performed by a Surgeon along with his/her subordinates.

Counseling patients and their families is an important part of the job of a Surgeon. It is their duty to inform the patients and their families about the risks involved in the surgical procedure and leave the final decision up to them.  They are also involved in guiding patients and their families regarding the healing and recuperating process post – surgery.

Some Surgeons are also involved in conducting research and finding ways to improve surgical procedures and equipment. They find ways through which existing equipment can be improved and be made more beneficial during surgeries, and also establish procedures and techniques to be followed in the operation theater.

How to become a Surgeon?

Becoming a Surgeon requires years of education and experience. As performing Surgeries is a very complicated and risky procedure, it is important for Surgeons to have a very strong knowledge base in the field of human anatomy.

In order to become a Surgeon, you will have to focus on subjects like Science and English in school. Once you complete your Class 10th, you will need to choose the Science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Biology (Botany and Zoology) as your main subjects.

After you finish schooling, you will have to join a medical college and enroll yourself in an MBBS course. But to gain admission in a medical college, you will most likely be required to pass a medical entrance exam. Every college holds their private entrance exam that you are required to qualify in to get admission into the course. Some also accept national level exams like the AIPMT. These exams are very competitive and you will be required to prepare a lot in order to excel in them.

Get an Overview of the Medical Admissions in India.

Once you qualify in the entrance examination, you will join the MBBS course. This is a mandatory course for all students who want to get into the medical field including aspiring Physicians and Surgeons. It is a 4 and a half year course with a mandatory 6 month internship at the end.

An MBBS degree is not enough to become a practicing surgeon. You will have to pursue a post graduate course that specializes in Surgery. You will be provided with a Master of Surgery degree upon completion of the course. This a mandatory course for all aspiring Surgeons and you can only start practicing once you complete this course.

Apart from the 6 month necessary internship, it is advisable that you work as an intern or a trainee in as many places as possible during your education period. Working under a practicing Surgeon will help you understand the practicalities of the profession and also help you gain vital experience.

To become a Surgeon, it is important to keep in touch with the rest of them medical world and the field of surgery. Read journals, attend conferences and conduct your own research regarding various new surgical techniques and technological advancements. This will help you be more confident during surgeries and have a wider knowledge base.


India is known all over the world for its Physicians and Surgeons. There are many great institutions in the country that provide quality education in medicine. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi is one of the best colleges in the country for your MBBS course. Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore and Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune are also well known for their MBBS courses. All the above colleges also offer post graduate courses in Surgery. You will be provided with an MS degree upon completion of the post graduate course in Surgery.

What are the skills required to become a Surgeon?

Surgeons are highly skilled professionals who have a very strong knowledge base in the field of surgical procedures, medicine and human anatomy. They are required to have the ability to work for long hours under extreme pressure and should be able to handle the physical and mental demands of the profession. They need to have excellent decision making and problem solving skills. Surgeons should be patient, honest, compassionate and responsible. They need to have excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a team as they are required to coordinate with a group of Surgeons and Nurses during operations. They need to have a cool and composed mind and should be confident about their skills and abilities. Most importantly, Surgeons should have the mental stamina to not be intimidated by blood or gore, and should be able to use their skills to improve and save lives.

Is this the right career for me?

Surgeons spend a majority of their lives planning and performing surgeries in operation theaters. They are required to work for long and irregular hours and perform complicated operations in stressful conditions which are physically and mentally taxing. It is a career that comes with a fair share of responsibility as careless mistakes from Surgeons can result in the loss of lives. On the other hand, it is a well paying and widely respected career that provides you with the opportunity to benefit society and save lives during emergencies.

People who are looking for an easy going career with structured hours, and who are not comfortable with working in stressful situations and dealing with human bodies, blood and internal organs, are not ideal for this career. But people who are genuinely interested in the field of medicine and surgery, and who want to earn a lot of money and respect while benefiting society, should be a part of this profession.

Find out what it is like to be Working for a Hospital.

Doctors and related careers in the medical industry

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.